On Monday, Oct. 3, the Biden administration unveiled $300 million in mental health funding.

On Monday, Oct. 3, the Biden administration unveiled $300 million in mental health funding.


Students will soon have greater access to mental health care.

The Department for Education and the Department of Health and Human Services announced the investment in school and pediatric mental health care on Monday 3 October. In total, the new initiatives of the Biden administration amount to more than 300 million dollars.

The Ministry of Education introduced two new grants: School mental health services (SBMH) and Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration (MHSP) grants, according to a news release. The programs will provide $280 million to schools to increase resources for student mental health, officials said.

The School Services Program will give schools money to make mental health care more accessible to students.

“High-need areas” could receive money from MHSP grants to hire more mental health professionals and increase their resources. The grants also could strengthen the pipeline of mental health providers, officials said.

The new funding “will help schools raise the bar for student mental health by hiring, training, hiring and training highly qualified school health professionals, including in underserved communities and for students such as multilingual learners and low-income and rural areas where access access to such services may be limited,” US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a press release.

“For too long, schools have lacked the resources to hire enough school mental health professionals, while educators are often the first to notice when a student is failing academically or struggling because of mental health issues,” Cardona said. “We know that children and young people cannot learn well when they are experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.”

The Department of Health and Human Services also announced a $27 million investment in the new program on Monday.

The Child Mental Health Access Program will help train pediatricians and other children’s health professionals, according to a press release. The program aims to offer children and adolescents more timely support by educating providers about mental health care and providing telehealth options for mental health experts for pediatric primary care providers.

Officials said they hope the program will help alleviate a growing mental health crisis among children.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five children between the ages of 3 and 17 experienced an emotional, behavioral, mental health or developmental disability. Those statistics have only worsened with the pandemic, officials said.

“When it comes to children’s access to vital mental health services, there should be no mis-access. For this to happen, we must support pediatricians and other health care providers in recognizing and treating mental illness,” said Carol Johnson, administrator of the Department of Health Resources and Services, in a press release.

All three programs are funded Bipartisan Safe Communities Act, which became law in June. The Department of Health and Human Services also received money from the American Rescue Plan, and the Department of Education received money from the FY 2022 appropriations bill.

Moira Ritter covers McClatchy news in real time. She graduated from Georgetown University where she studied government, journalism and German. She previously reported for CNN Business.